Egat wants coal plants in Cambodia, Myanmar, Krabi
Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal has given the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) the green light to proceed with a plan to build coal-powered plants in Myanmar and Cambodia - providing Thailand with 10,000 megawatts of electricity. Egat has also been instructed to negotiate the purchase of nuclear power from China in order to bring down the cost of electricity.
At present, households pay independent power producers (IPP) who rely on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) to operate.
According to Pongsak, Egat is in the middle of negotiations with the Myanmar government to invest in coal-powered plants, which would provide Thailand with between 4,000MW to 6,000MW - produced by a plant in Dawei - and another 2,000MW via the natural-gas pipeline. The issue will be raised with the Myanmar vice-president when he visits Thailand from May 26-28 to pave the way for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the deal.
In addition, the Energy Ministry has also been discussing the possibility of investing in a coal-powered plant in Cambodia to produce 4,000MW of electricity. Thailand hopes that buying power from Cambodia will keep the domestic cost of electricity from exceeding Bt6 per unit. Egat also plans to go ahead with its coal-powered project in Krabi once it has reached an "understanding" with residents and businesses protesting against the deal.
Bangkok Zoning plan comes under fire
New rules to cover building are derided by experts
A new city zoning plan soon to come into force has former Bangkok governor candidates up in arms and threatening to take City Hall to court.
With the backing of other prominent citizens and experts, they are puzzled by the intended restrictions on certain types of construction within the city's boundaries covering high-rise building and homes for those not so well-off.
Eight failed candidates from the March3 Bangkok governor election have been busy gathering signatures to back their call for parliament to step in and veto the five-year city plan set to come into effect on Thursday.
The group, led by Sopon Pornchokchai, has also petitioned Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Bangkok governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra and relevant ministers to look into their complaint.
Mr Sopon says the plan will impose restrictions on the construction of tall buildings in commercial areas of Bangkok.
Suvarnabhumi Airport Phase 2 Expansion: AOT to hire Design Consultant
Airports of Thailand (AOT) will hire an airport-design consultant for Phase 2 of its expansion of Suvarnabhumi Airport. The expansion is expected to be complete by 2016.
The company also plans to bring in smart cards and barcode technology to speed up its immigration services and alleviate congestion at Bangkok's main airport.
Sitta Tivari, chairman of AOT's board of directors, said the agency estimated that more than 50 million passengers would pass through Suvarnabhumi this year, exceeding its official capacity of 45 million. Some congestion is inevitable during peak hours. To help alleviate the problem, AOT plans to offer discounts for flights during non-peak hours, he said.
National Power joins gas-fired plant bid for IPPs
National Power Supply (NPS), which is specialized in manufacturing, designing and development of power supply systems, revealed that the company has joined the natural-gas-fired power plant bid set for Independent Power Producers (IPPs), with combined capacity of 5,400-megawatt, which is scheduled to feed in power by 2020.
Sitthiporn Rattanopas, NPS chairman, said that the company would join the bidding process in two key locations with capacity of 900 megawatts each, and locate near the distribution route of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). As a result, the company is confident in its competitiveness in the cost of electricity in comparing to rival bidders.
Sithiporn however said that the new round of electricity price would be much higher than today. PTT Group has already submitted the price of natural gas, which will be used by IPP bidders as their base to calculate the electricity price to be offered in the bidding process. The price of natural gas however had increased significantly from about Bt320 per one million BTUs today to between Bt600 and Bt700 per one million BTUs by 2020 the time those power plants to feed in power.
The bidders however will offer their electricity price and the year they are ready to feed in power into the system to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). Those bidders who passed the technical criteria set by ERC will have the right to open the bidding price. And those who offered the lowest price per unit will win the bid.
GEP wants partners for its 210-MW Myanmar solar plant
Green Earth Power (Thailand) or GEP is seeking partners for joint development of its 210-megawatt solar power plant in Myanmar, the third largest of its kind in the world and costing nearly 9 billion baht.
The company also plans to mobilise funds from the Stock Exchange of Thailand for a bigger Myanmar plant with a capacity of 300 MW and projects in other Asean countries including Thailand.
Managing director Supasit Skontanarak said GEP is in talks with potential strategic partners including "big names" in Thailand.
"We're looking for partners who are not only strong financially but also have expertise to strengthen our business," he said after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the project with Myanmar's electric power minister late on Thursday.
Mr Supasit said the project's power purchase agreement (PPA) is expected to be signed within three months. Then construction will start immediately at the 750-acre site in Magway division's Minbu city. It is expected to take 18 months.
The plant will be developed in three phases with capacities of 50, 70 and 90 MW, respectively. Of the total cost, 70% will come from loans the rest from equity. GEP has held discussions with local and foreign lenders.
Egat goes full steam ahead on expansion
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is pushing forward its 303-billion-baht budget for building power facilities between now and 2017.
Egat governor Sutat Patmasiriwat said funding will come from various sources including bonds and bank loans, as Egat's debt-to-equity ratio is only 0.5 times.
"We expect to use our operating cash and accumulated profit for about 50% of the total investment, with the rest from loans and bonds," he said.
The first phase of investment projects includes six more power plants at its existing plant location worth a combined 180 billion baht, adding capacity of 4,300 megawatts to its 36,900 MW nationwide.
Of that total, 17,590 MW comprise all the private power producers and the power purchased from Laos.
Maybank keeps 'buy' on Demco after solar farm contract
Maybank Kim Eng Securities maintained its "buy" rating on shares of Demco Pcl after the electric system construction company signed a 90 MW solar farm contract.
Demco and Hydrochina Engineering Corp entered into a contract with EA Solar Nakorn Sawan, a subsidiary of Energy Absolute Pcl , on April 30 to develop a 90 MW solar farm valued at 5.5 billion baht ($187 million).
"Demco will take responsibility for engineering design, local material supply, civil work, electrical system, installation and testing valued at 1.38 billion baht. Hydrochina will take responsibility to supply materials from abroad worth 4.2 billion baht," Maybank said.
Airport to be built in Yala
An airport will be constructed in Betong, the border district in Yala province, at a cost of 1.2 billion baht, the Department of Civil Aviation said.
Department deputy director-general Seree Jitsopha said the construction funding will be allocated in the 2015 budget.
The department is buying land for the airport. However, two owners were refusing to settle on the sale of their land. Mr Seree said land appropriation could be an option if they insist on refusing to sell.
The airport will have a 1.8 kilometre long runway and will serve people in the southern border region. There are two airports in the southernmost border region, in nearby Narathiwat and Pattani, but only the one in Narathiwat is used for commercial flights.
The main airport for the southern border area is Hat Yai International Airport in Songkhla.
Bangkok construction workers suggesting minimum wage raise
Construction workers in the capital city are suggesting that the government increase their daily minimum wage to 350-400 baht per day, saying that they find the present rate of 300 baht per day becoming inadequate to sustain themselves in the city.
Construction workers employed for condominium projects in the Din Daeng area in Bangkok suggested on Labor Day that the minimum wage be set according to changes in the economy, especially the rising cost of living that resulted from increased commodity prices after the raising of the country-wide daily minimum wage to 300 baht. They explained that an income of under 10,000 baht a month may no longer be enough for anybody to live on in Bangkok. The workers viewed that the minimum wage should be raised by 50-100 baht per day in the city.
In the meantime, Federation of Thai Industries Secretary-General Thanit Sorat has revealed that a large number of alien workers have been demanding that their employees raise their salaries to match the heightened cost of living in Thailand. In many cases they have been demanding a rise to 9,000 baht, from 8,000 baht, with a threat of quitting their jobs if the demand is not met.
Mr. Thanit said most employers agreed to raise the salaries, because several industries have been experiencing severe labor shortage.
MRTA to carry out further study on Purple Line construction
The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) has recently held a public forum to collect public opinions on the extension of the Purple Line underground system between Tao Pun and Rat Burana.
MRTA Governor Yongsit Rojsrikul has revealed that further study would be needed before the construction begins as the decision on the overall structure of the extended line, particularly connection points, has not yet been finalized.
Meanwhile, the extension of the Blue Line remains under consideration. The MRTA is expected to propose land expropriation after a feasibility study is done. A royal decree on land expropriation is expected to be issued this September to facilitate the construction. More than 4 billion baht will be needed for the land expropriation, Mr. Yongsit said.
The extension of the Purple Line will begin from the Bangyai-Bangsue junction in Tao Pun area, running to Rat Burana district. The line will be 21 kilometers long and comprise 16 more stations.
Sino-Thai sign contract for new Thai Parliament building
The parliament and Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc (Stecon) have signed an agreement for construction of new parliament buildings alongside the Chao Phraya River in Kiak Kai area of Bangkok.
The 12.2 billion baht contract was signed by House secretary-general Suwijak Nakwacharachai and Stecon president and executive director Pakpoom Srichamni. It gives the construction firm 900 days to build Thailand's new legislative centre - until Oct 18, 2015.
The new Parliament Building will be built on 123 rai of land beside the Chao Phraya River in Dusit district.
Parliament President Somsak Kiatsuranont, who witnessed the signing ceremony on Tuesday, said he hoped construction will be completed on time, despite a delay in the handing over the land to Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction.
5 Dead In Ayutthaya Bridge Collapse
A suspension bridge over Pa Sak River in Ayutthaya collapsed yesterday evening, crushing five people to death underneath a pillar on one side, while wounding 15 others.
The collapse also sent a large number of pedestrians and motorcyclists into the water, but there were no casualties. The Bicentenary Bridge, 20 metres above the water, has been regularly used. The bridge is believed to have collapsed after the slings broke.
Source: The Nation
Snapped supporting cable causes tragedy
The investigation into the collapse of a suspension bridge in Tha Rua district of Ayutthaya province on Sunday evening has revealed that it was caused by a snapped supporting cable, the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) said.
EIT secretary general Thanes Weerasiri said after inspecting the collapsed bridge that the reason was not the bridge structure as there was no sign of subsidence of poles or surrounding areas. The structure was strong enough so the collapse could only have come from a snapped cable, but there must be a thorough investigation as to why the cable broke.
Bouygyes Construction and Soleq Solar plan 30MW in Thailand
Bouygyes Construction and solar energy producer Soleq Solar Thailand have signed a contract worth approximately US$50 million for three PV plants in the Tak and Sukhothai provinces of north-east Thailand.
Subject to Soleq Solar Thailand obtaining finance, the three solar farms will be equipped with more than 100,000 PV panels covering over 60 hectares and will deliver annual production of approximately 45GWh, equivalent to the annual consumption of the households in a Thai city of 90,000 people. Each site is expected to have a peak power of 10MW.
This project is in addition to Soleq Solar Thailand’s joint venture with German renewable energy specialist juwi to construct five PV plants in Thailand with a total capacity of 48MW. These plants will be located in the Thai provinces of Kamphaeng Phet in the northwest and Ubon Ratchathani in the east.
Blue Line construction intrudes on history
Valuable old buildings which form part of the national heritage are being put at risk
While many residents are eagerly awaiting the next subway line to ease the agony of commuting, another kind of woe has arisen because of the construction - that of the cost to Bangkok's cultural heritage, in particular in the city's treasured old quarter.
The construction of the Blue Line subway is spelling out "the blues" for people fearful it could wipe out some precious historic places.
A section of the Blue Line from Hua Lamphong to Phutthamonthon - coming in at a hefty price tag of 49.9 billion baht - will pass through old city precincts in Samphanthawong district, and that is where the danger lies, according to local residents.
The district is home to clusters of architectural heritage sites in the Yaowarat, Song Wat and Werng Nakhon Kasem areas.
The train route will include stations in the inner historical zones including at Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, one of the country's most-visited Chinese temples which is more popularly known as Lengnoeiyi Temple, and Wang Burapha.
A brand new Centara Sappaya Design Resort Rayong in the making
Centara Sappaya Design Resort Rayong is to temporarily close from May 6, 2013 to allow full renovations and the construction of an eight-storey building that will add 30 rooms distinctively designed room to the resort along with a new Spa Cenvaree, a fitness center, another restaurant outlet, and a remodeled lobby.
The projected date for reopening is November 2014.
The resort is the smallest of the Centara Hotels & Resorts properties, having at present only 13 guestrooms, and built to a designer style for the independently minded traveler.
Located on the beachfront in a quiet and rural part of Rayong, the ambience of the resort is one of a secluded and luxurious residence.
Bouygues to build Thai solar plant
Two subsidiaries of Bouygues Construction have signed a US$50m (£33m) contract for the design, construction and maintenance of three photovoltaic power plants in the Tak and Sukhothai provinces of north-east Thailand.
Bouygues Thai and Bouygues Energies & Services are carrying out the work for solar energy producer Soleq Solar Thailand.
In total, the three solar farms will be equipped with more than 100,000 photovoltaic panels over 60ha and will deliver annual production of approximately 45GWh, equivalent to the annual consumption of the households in a Thai city of 90,000 people. Each site will have peak power of 10MW.
Myanmar to revive 'Death Railway'
An elegant cemetery in strife-torn southeast Myanmar has long stood as a lonely testament to the fate of thousands of prisoners of war who died building Japan's "Death Railway".
As the fast-changing nation now opens to the world, a reformist regime is considering rebuilding a stretch of the notorious World War II track to attract tourists and help develop border areas, where memories of the line have been eclipsed by conflict and poverty under decades of junta rule.
Local gardeners pluck weeds and tend flowers between neat lines of graves at the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Mon state for some 3,000 Allied troops who died building the line between Myanmar and neighbouring Thailand.
"After seeing this cemetery people do not want to see war. There should not be war in the whole world," gardener Myat Soe told AFP.
"Because the soldiers died the way they did the world remembers them with sorrow. Dying fighting is honourable, but dying like this is very sad."
Many epitaphs at the site, funded by the Britain-based Commonwealth War Graves Commission, are a heart wrenching testament of how bewilderingly distant the country then called Burma was for the families of those killed.
2020 deadline speeds up the construction of 5 Thai motorways
3 roads to be funded by 2 trillion transport loan
The government has prioritised the construction of five inter-provincial motorways, which will cost 267 billion baht and span a combined length of 705 kilometres.
The construction of the motorways is expected to be completed by 2020.
The projects are among 13 motorways nationwide to be built under the Highway Department.
The 13 motorways will cover 4,150km and cost 472 billion baht. Two of these 13 motorways have already been completed. They are the 82km Bangkok-Chon Buri Road and the 64km Eastern Outer Ringroad.
C&G to spend Bt900 million building a waste-to-energy plant in Bangkok
C&G Environmental Protection Holdings will invest Bt900 million in its first waste-to-energy plant in Bangkok that can reduce waste by 500 tonnes a day while producing 9.8 megawatts.
Headquartered in Hong Kong and listed on the Singapore main board in April 2005, C&G is a leading waste-to-energy investor and operator in China.
C&G invests in, constructs, operates and maintains waste incineration power plants for the treatment of municipal solid waste under the build-operate-transfer investments schemes in China.
The company operates five waste-to-energy plants - Jinjiang, Hui'an, Anxi, Fuqing in Fujian and Huangshi in Hubei - and a sludge treatment plant in Jinjiang. Five more plants are slated to commence operation in 2012-13 - Jianyang and Nanping in Fujian, Langfang in Hebei, Yingkou in Liaoning and Xiaogan in Hubei.
ADB makes $85 million available for Thai PV projects
The Asian Development Bank has announced it will make US$85 million available for the construction of three photovoltaic projects in Thailand, worth 57 MW.
The plants, to be located in Thailand’s Nakhonpathom and Suphanburi provinces, will be developed under the country’s very small power producer program. The generated electricity is expected to be sold to Provincial Electricity Authority.
According to the initial environmental examination submitted in February, construction is scheduled to take around 11 months to complete. Polycrystalline photovoltaic technology will be employed, with REC expected to deliver the necessary modules. Meanwhile, the inverters will come from SMA.